Next move in launching career

I just graduated with a generic university degree (Honours Bachelor of Arts). Straight up all I have under my belt is hopefully CFA level 1. I don’t have legitimate office experience but I helped launch a small hair salon from home so I have that as an example of my entrepreunerial ‘spirit’.

Every job I look at needs experience, and you can’t get a job without experience.

Intership positions really prefer actual students and not grads.

What’s my next move here? Volunteering? Omg… I don’t want to volunteer (sounds stuck up I know, but still).

Anyone else in a similar position who can offer some insight?

I plan to build up a network by attending relevant presentations and meeting people and hopefully someone I meet will have some sort of window for me…

First questions are… what job do you want? What jobs have you been looking at? What was your major in school?

Major in School: Business and Society (heavy focus on Economics)

Desired Job: Financial Analyst

Jobs I’ve been looking at: Financial Analysis, financial administrator/coordinator (these are just words given to similar positions.

Honestly, I am lookin for anything in Finance, I am just not sure where to start.

Sorry you are in a very tough spot. Even having CFA L1 passed probably won’t do anything for you

Any suggestions?

Hmm. I would encourage you to look outside of the finance field. The job market in finance is obviously not very good right now, and future wages could be depressed compared to what you have seen in the past. If you can get a job in say, consulting, marketing or something like that, then why not consider those as well? To be honest, most people never get the dream job they initially envisioned. It is up to you to take whatever opportunity you have and make your own success from it.

That sounds interesting, thanks for the advice. What have you guys done when you were fresh from uni, did you find a different job and then ease into finance, or did you have enough experience to get right into it?

I just recently finished up school (a year ago). I have a MSF, passed L1, and had a couple of corp finance and equity/financial analysis internships with small shops on my resume and I couldn’t get into any finance roles.

I wound up accepting a job offer in public accounting b/c I just couldn’t keep sitting around hoping to get a finance job. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great company to work for (adequate pay, good benefits, great people) but it’s not what I intended to be doing. Lots of times life just doesn’t take the path you think it will.

Thanks a lot. This really puts things into perspective. I guess the things I’ve read about getting into an analyst spot were biased and incorrect.

It kind of makes sense that fresh grads aren’t accepted into finance spots because finance is technical and with literally no experience, or even an intership we aren’t really technically experienced.

So then, I guess, I can be looking in any field for a job then, like someone said marketing, or like krazykanuck said, accounting?

you should have started looking into how to get into finance 12 or 18 months ago you’re a bit late and most big banks have set programs on application deadlines, interview schedules and taking in new hires with no experience you’re going to have to apply to boutique firms that are doing well and desperately need more help for cheap

It’s not that bad out there. Think of all the idiots you know who got jobs. Guess it depends where you live in Canada.

Do try for a finance job so you don’t have to make too many lateral moves in your career, and anyways non-finance experience doesn’t count towards getting a finance job.

Be creative since it is tough out there, applying online is almost useless; get on the phone, email, and linked in and have coffee with tons of people. Just send a note saying that you are interested in investment analysis as a career and you would appreciate it if they would have coffee with you and tell you what they like and don’t like about their job. The key is to not say hey I’m looking for a job - no one wants to go to that coffee unless they are looking. Just go for the informational/relationship building coffee. They will be able to see you are a fresh grad looking for a job and they will pass on your resume if they hear something and if they like you. Read, “Never Eat Alone” for further details on coffee meetings. Don’t be shy, I did this when I graduated, I had coffee with 29 people and no one said no. It is also a way less depressing way to search for a job.

Also, analyst means different things, not always the bottom rung.

Bottom line: applying online is useless anyways.

Econgirl that sounds like a plan. I went to this lunch with one of the directors of Freedom 55 as part of my university program and he actualy said the same thing. The offices are littered with email resumes and many are just simply trashed. He said networking is everything and that I should literally get out there and ask for coffee lunches, like you said. He said the worst that can happen is that they say no, and most likely they will say yes because who doesn’t like talking about themselves.

I am attending the CFA presentation in Toronto on June 26th, hopefully I will meet someone there and ask for a rendez vous.

Econgirl, how did you first start meeting people? Did you go to events or did you meet them through a friend?

If you are a hot chesty girl, you’ll get lots of coffee acceptances.

statusone - I meet people a variety of ways (and I was totally new to the city):

  • searched on LinkedIn for the company and job title of someone I wanted to meet and cold messaged them (this works really well)

  • read bios on company websites and then called the person’s number/emailed (works really well)

  • went to speaker lunches and CFA society events with a homemade “new graduate” business card

  • when I did meet with someone it would usually lead to the person making a comment - “oh you should meet with my friend so and so”.

Also, make it easy on yourself and move to a city that has a low unemployemnt rate and a good economy. I used stats canada to help me with that decision.

iteracom - how can I get coffees by being chesty if you are so convinced I am a man? And anyways you can’t see my high in supply commodities on the phone/email.

No argument there, a female voice on telephone is far more appealing for a coffee lunch than a male one.

Thanks econgirl, I’m a guy but I could use a few of those suggestions. yes

I know guys who have done it too. Then ended up in research at a big bank right out of school.

I never said you were a hot chesty girl

k guys, since we are on this topic. I made a ‘cold call’ to a guy at CPP. Our parents are acquintances. He said it’s cool to meet. So what’s the dress code for these things?

Last time I went to one I wore a blue shirt and tie, dress pants, and shoes. But that was a restaurant setting. This is coffee. Still same dress?

business casual is fine, throw on a tie though. Slightly over is ok